University of Chicago
Humanities and Arts
Literary Criticism (including Philology)
After his book on the material unconscious of American literature, Brown's work achieved internationally-recognized authority in the field of thing theory, which he has, more than anyone, elaborated and propagated. His extensive monograph Other Things (2015) completes, in effect, a trilogy preceded by his award-winning special issue, Things (2001), for the journal he coedits, Critical Inquiry, and his influential 2003 book A Sense of Things. The Dark Wood of Postmodernity won the MLA Parker Prize in 2005. His approach to the Heideggerean object/thing dyad is widely cited in literary studies, art theory, and cultural criticism, well beyond American studies.